Today the BBC and the Guardian have separately published stories identifying the leader of the white supremacist group known as The Base. Though he has gone by aliases including “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf” his real name is Rinaldo Nazzaro and he is currently living in Russia:

A video posted online in March 2019 shows Nazzaro in Russia wearing a t-shirt bearing an image of President Vladimir Putin along with the words “Russia, absolute power”.

We traced Nazzaro and his Russian wife to an upmarket property in central St Petersburg purchased in her name in July 2018 – the same month to which the FBI dates the creation of The Base…

Nazzaro married a Russian woman in Manhattan in 2012. She had moved to the city from her homeland around four years earlier and her CV says she spent time working in a bank.

In 2018 – when he first began promoting The Base online using the “Norman Spear” pseudonym – they moved with their children to Russia.

Here’s the photo of Nazzarro in his Putin t-shirt:

Also today the Guaridan published the results of a months-long investigation which identified Nazzaro but also found that he has long been suspected by some of being a Russian spy:

Richard Tobin, a Base member, is awaiting trial in New Jersey over allegations that he coordinated the September vandalism of synagogues in Michigan and Wisconsin. In a December custody hearing, the prosecuting assistant US attorney cited Tobin’s self-professed belief that “Norman Spear” was a Russian spy…

Meanwhile, “Norman Spear” appears to have had no extended history in the neo-Nazi movement before emerging as leader of the Base.

According to an internally placed source, the only people within the movement who vouched for “Spear” were connected to the Northwest Front (NWF)…

Law enforcement sources have indicated on background that Nazzaro is believed by some agencies to be working for the Russian government.

At first glance, the idea that this dirtbag is a Russian agent or spy seemed a little far-fetched to me but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. Remember, Putin’s GRU stooges have been murdering and attempting to murder people on UK soil for several years. Also remember that back in 2016 Russia organized partisan events online designed sow discord by playing into existing divides in the US political landscape. The most well know of these was a Black Lives Matter-style rally in New York City that involved at least 5,000 people.

If you’re already willing to murder people on foreign soil and organize people around racial issues is it really that much of a stretch to imagine Putin might try to combine the two? That’s sort of what this group appears to be doing. This guy living in Russia is recruiting Americans to carry out attacks which are designed to exacerbate divides that already exist. I don’t think that’s so far-fetched at all. In fact, I think Putin would like the idea a lot.